WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have introduced a Senate joint resolution (S.J.Res.62) that would authorize placement of the National Memorial to Fallen Journalists between the Voice of America building and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. The establishment of the memorial, which was signed into law last Congress, will honor journalists, photographers, and broadcasters killed in the line of duty. The joint resolution on the specific location comes one week after the murder of Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German, who allegedly was killed by the subject of one of his investigations. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is an original co-sponsor.
“The National Memorial to Fallen Journalists will honor the lives of those who died reporting the news and supporting the media on behalf of the American people. Just last week, Jeff German was killed for doing his job and reporting the news wherever it led. He is the latest reporter to be a victim,” said Senator Cardin. “Transparency and unbiased journalism are essential in a democracy and this new memorial will be a steadfast symbol of the sacrifice of those who take on this responsibility. The men and women who personify the First Amendment rights granted to every citizen have made our nation stronger.”
“A free and open press is essential to our democracy, and I’m pleased to join Senator Cardin in introducing this permanent resolution to authorize placement of the National Memorial to Fallen Journalists,” said Senator Portman. “This memorial will serve as a fitting tribute to the men and women in journalism who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of the First Amendment.”
“Enshrining our nation’s support for a free and vibrant press is essential to the health of our democracy. Thousands of journalists across the globe, our country, and right here at home have lost their lives while upholding the First Amendment, reporting the news, and bringing us the facts,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This memorial will honor the lives of fallen journalists around the world and serve as a tribute to those who were killed here in Maryland at the Capital Gazette shooting – Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendi Winters. I will continue fighting to support a free press here and around the globe and to ensure we never forget the dedication of these fallen journalists.”
The resolution (S.J.Res.62) approves a location for a commemorative work honoring fallen journalists that will maintain the “commitment of the United States to a free press by honoring the journalists who sacrificed their lives in service to that cause.” The memorial will be located on federal lands in “Area I” as determined by the Secretary of the Interior. Funding for the National Park Service or General Services Administration to construct and maintain the memorial will be provided by the Fallen Journalists Memorial (FJM) Foundation.